For over a decade St. Alban's church in the beautiful Wealden village of Frant has hosted internationally acclaimed artists from all over the world.
Just a couple of miles south of Tunbridge Wells, Frant village is set high on an escarpment overlooking Eridge Park. The whole village is involved in welcoming both the artists and the concert goers.
St. Alban's Church
St. Alban's church was rebuilt in 1819-22, replacing a medieval church. The architect was John Montier Senior (who is buried in the churchyard), a builder and architect of Tunbridge Wells. Montier had, according to Pevsner, a fine antiquarian knowledge, and his design is of perpendicular style revived in that era. Tall segmented windows are in perpendicular style in cast iron.
However the cost of upkeep of the building and the very fine organ were the original impetus behind the Frant concert series. While the concerts have developed into a major artistic and musical landmark in their own right over the past decade, it is still the case that all profits made from the concerts are dedicated to the upkeep of this fine building.
The concerts are all different, with artists from across the globe arriving in Frant to play in the church, which has unsurpassed acoustics.
This is what one of our fans said on his blog:
I met Paul Barber one day at the Cafe’ back in 2012 when he came in and dropped off some flyers to promote the Frant Festival of Music. I didn’t give it too much thought until my father in-law, an avid classical music fan highlighted that the artist, a Soprano set to perform at Frant Church was world famous. I am so grateful I took the opportunity to go, it was awesome and I am now on the inspired and exciting journey Paul is taking us on.
The concerts started in 2005 when Paul met Paul Nicholls playing at the Chafford Arms in Fordcombe. Paul asked if he was interested in playing a fund raising gig for the Church, he was and played two concerts, the 2nd< being with a young soprano and David Watmough, pianist and sometime conductor for the TWSO. Other contacts led to further concerts, and then Paul started asking big names like Dame Felicity Lott, Tina May and Jacqui Dankworth. From little things big things grow and grow and grow. This September Nigel Kennedy comes to Frant Church in to play two concerts as part of the Frant Festival of Music. There has been a long list of world famous artists to play at the Church but this is so far the pinnacle. For this I salute Paul Barber, in his words ‘he keeps asking the world’s best, and so far got away with it!’ My first visit to Frant Church was to see Soprano Christine Brewer, and sitting in the front pew, literally 3 feet away from Christine as she belted out Strauss’ 4 Last songs was extraordinary. My other highlights have been Tenor Toby Spence and classical guitarist Xuefei Yang. John Williams has played twice and the 2ndwith John Etheridge was supposed to be immense. For those who have not been to any of the concerts I implore you to go. World famous artists in this intimate setting, so close to Tunbridge Wells is an absolute unique experience. The same concerts in London will set you back hundreds of pounds compared to tickets under £20 in Frant. You will be left breathless and your contribution goes to the conservation of a beautiful grade II building.http://www.blackdogcafetw.co.uk/blog/
This site the information source about concerts. All the information about the artists, their programmes, news and reviews.